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Unschooling Your Children

Thoughtful Boy

The other day I was chatting with a friend about the philosophy behind homeschooling and the question “what if you see your child sitting around doing nothing?”

This got me thinking about our relationship with children.

If I look at myself as an adult, I’m consciously trying to clear the clutter from my mind and make time to sit alone and just be. I will take the moment to watch the sunrise or go outside and just watch the world around me not thinking and doing nothing. I really thrive on the times where I give myself the space to just sit, relax and digest information that I have learned from whatever endeavor has come my way. Even when I’m doing nothing and thinking about boredom, this gives me a chance to look at myself and decide if I want to be bored or shall I do something about it. I make the time for these moments because I feel that they are important for my well being.

Through my homeschooling years with my children, I have learned so much from them and this sitting and “doing nothing” is one of them. I may look at my children and think that nothing is going on and that they are wasting time and missing precious learning opportunities but look closer. Children are smart and they know what they need. As a parent, before I decide what I think is best and tell them that they should be doing something, the wisdom in me says to stop, observe and listen to my child.

Every time that I have done this, amazing learning experiences for myself have occurred. I have never regretted listening to my children’s wisdom and letting go of what I think they should be doing. Many a time, I can see that my thoughts have come from trying to be in control or fear based. Taking the time to truly “see” my child has always been the right choice.

Children have this skill to know when to “do nothing” until they are told not to do it. What would happen if they never unlearned this knowledge and continued using this skill into adulthood?

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